Hey Guys, I missed you so much! How has your week been? Glad to bring you another dose of Role Model Friday. Hopefully, this will continue till we run out of Role Models but I know we won’t *lol*. Today’s Role Model is a Nigerian (happy about that), an Activist who has dedicated half of her existence to fighting for Justice Integration in Nigeria. Who is this Human with a burning passion for change, its none other than Dr. Josephine Obiajulu Okei-Odumakin, popularly known as Joe Okei-Odumakin (drum roll please)
|PIC SOURCE: HERE|
Joe Okei-Odumakin was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, Northern part of Nigeria where she grew up more as a tom-boy than a girl that she is. She got her education in different states of Northern Nigeria where she got her first contact with political movements in 1985. Her curiosity and attitude began her romance with lives of Martin Luther King, Karl Max and Malcolm X. Fate smiled on her not quite long as she contested for the position of Secretary for Women in Nigeria, Kwara State branch in March 1985. Thirst for Justice derived off the lives of Martin Luther King, Karl Max and Malcom X kept on driving Joe Okei-Odumakin to what she saw as her calling (LESSON ONE: INTEREST)
Being a friend to fellow activists like late Gani Fawehimi, late Beko Ransome Kuti, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti etc and her consistent acts of bravery, determination and courage made Joe a regular occupant in detentions as far as 17times especially during the military era. Child delivery didn’t deter her from attending the press conference held in late Pa. Abraham Adesanya’s office at Apapa as nobody knew she was pregnant let alone, putting to bed minutes earlier before the meeting (LESSON TWO: COURAGE)
With over 25years of standing firm in her beliefs for equality in the Nigerian society,
Joe was at the fore-front of the Occupy Nigeria Protest in 2012. She has been showered with several awards over the years as she was recently honored with an International Woman of Courage Award, presented to her by Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States of America.
Joe believes activism isn’t an excuse to laze around or being jobless rather, it has helped her improve mentally as a human and a woman. She feels no discrimination as a modern Nigerian woman at the fore-front of Freedom and Justice. Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka describes Joe as a tireless fighter who remains an inspiration to both young and old.
Being a woman doesn’t stop us from doing what we love to do as there are women from different races, backgrounds, beliefs etc who have shown us that strength, courage, bravery, persistence pays off. So what are you doing today?
God bless Nigeria!